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HOW DO I SEE THIS ALL playing out in the next few months?
First, to reiterate, I think the Constitution will be a big winner. That will change the political realities in Washington and enable the President to be far more aggressive in Iraq. Troops will be added. It matters not what excuse is given for this very necessary step.
In my opinion, the troop shortage has been the greatest misstep of the war. Even though I am, on the whole, a strong supporter of Donald Rumsfeld, I think his refusal to admit he has been dead wrong on this point is a scandal and the President should simply overrule him. We have tried it Rumsfeld’s way long enough and we are not succeeding at the rate that we should.
The December elections will bring back the U.S.’s favorite Iraqi politician, Ayad Alawi. And, then the New Iraqi Army will be unleashed in January or February. The NIA will, perhaps brutally, put down the internal Sunni killers while the U.S. Army, U.S. Marines, and U.S. Special Forces will take care of the cross-border infiltrators.
After these successes, the U.S. will be marvelously positioned to do the two things that are at the heart of the longer range strategy: Establish permanent bases in Northern Iraq from which the entire Middle East can be kept under tight surveillance, and start the gradual drawdown of troops that is needed if only to give them a rest.
Just as I wrote those last lines and was about to send this dispatch off to Wlady, I heard multiple jets roaring overhead for the sixth or seventh time today. Why should that be unusual? Because in the six months I have been here I have, until today, heard only four single fighter jets fly over. Thousands of helicopters, but only four jets, Something is changing.
John Connly Walsh, a frequent contributor, works for an American company in Baghdad.
Copyright 2005 John Connly Walsh
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